Wednesday 15 July 2020

Builders, tenants and investors call on state to take action on housing shortage

New housing under construction in Amsterdam

An alliance of 17 organisations and companies, ranging from the construction sector organisation Bouwend Nederland to the tenants’ lobby group Woonbond, have joined forces to call on the government to take emergency action to boost the supply of housing.

They want the government to invest billions of euros in helping buy up large tracts of land which can be developed quickly into areas for residential construction to head off a major shortage of new homes and to give investors more certainty about the future. They also want the state to invest in making old industrial areas suitable for house building programmes.

‘Local authorities and developers do not have enough money to make such large financial commitments in advance and we are asking the state to help them with plans and guarantees so investors know where they are in the coming 10 to 15 years,’ Desiree Uitzetter, of developers’ lobby group Neprom, told the Telegraaf.

‘It is crucial that there is a long-term view, because the current strategy is too piecemeal,’ Uitzetter said.

The organisations say 90,000 new homes need to be built every year to meet demand, but that recent production is only in the region of 70,000.

‘This is about new homes and residential areas which should lead the way in being environmentally friendly and sustainable,’ the organisations say in their plan. ‘Neighbourhoods should be energy neutral and climate adaptive, with good public transport and cycleways… in addition, at least 50% should target low and middle income households.’

Earlier this week, the home affairs ministry published its own vision on the future of residential construction, saying that the Netherlands needs 845,000 new homes in the coming 10 years.

Local authorities have come under fire from developers for overcharging for land, as well as for imposing conditions which make it impossible for investors to generate an appropriate return.

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